Why irrigation is a necessity
When a landscape company has completed your landscape project, it is now time for you to experience your garden maturing as the seasons change and the feeling of falling in love with it as it grows. The date palm trees will bear fruits for you to enjoy, and the ixora coccinea displaying beautiful red flowers while complementing the yellow allamanda cathartica which creates hedges. Lush green blades of grass inviting you to walk bare foot on a hot summer night. The white flowers of gardenia creating an ambience at night while the jasminum officinale providing a smell to create the prefect look and feel to your outdoor areas. To achieve this you need the assistance of one mechanical component which insures your investment in your garden is protected, maintained and matured constantly. This element is called an irrigation system. The cost involved might be high but the returns are higher. New and improved automatic irrigation systems can enhance water efficiency and keep your plants and grass healthier.
Before we explain how an irrigation system protects your garden and investment, let’s understand why an irrigation system is a necessity not a luxury. In the UAE, the majority of our clients go on vacation in the hot summer months or are simply too busy to tend to their gardens. The natural environment of UAE and the very limited amount of rain we get here means our garden needs constant attention. It needs to be watered adequately throughout the year. Most gardens are looked after by a gardener and a very minor portion of the homes are looked after by a professional maintenance company. Let’s break down the difference between the two.
Gardener Vs Professional Maintenance Company
When selecting who will maintain and up keep your garden, home owners only look at one element which is the cost. In communities like Jumeriah Island, Palm Jumeriah, Medows, Greens community, Springs, Arabian ranches just to name a few – there are small size garden maintenance companies who have gardeners going around on bicycles and offering to maintain your garden for around 300 to 400 dirhams monthly. These companies have one person maintaining 10 to 20 homes in one area of the community. They usually have no supervision and are not skilled in horticulture and their primary objective is to show up two or three times a week to cut the grass, water some plants manually and leave. Majority of homes using their services have had bad experiences especially when they return from a vacation or during the hot summer months.
Professional Maintenance Company
A Professional Maintenance Company always has a gardener accompanied by an agriculture engineer. The agriculture engineer is a horticulture specialist, who understands the environment and the irrigation system. Horticulturalists will ensure the watering cycles are according to the environment. The plants are fertilized and propagated appropriately and all your trees and plants are pest and disease free. The irrigation system has a sprinklers and drip line system. The sprinkler system covers all the grass areas, it’s very common for these sprinklers to shut down or have a malfunctioned valve. The agriculture engineer can easily service these parts to ensure your irrigation system is running efficiently and prevent this cost from escalating. The drip lines function is to provide water to the plants only close to the roots. This reduces the water consumption and prevents weeds from growing in your softscape areas. There are usually different watering cycles which a professional maintenance company studies for each specific home and develops a maintenance schedule for it which is complied as data just for each specific house. The cost to hire a professional maintenance company ranges between 800/1200 monthly depending on your garden size.
Irrigation systems that work in the UAE – High Density Poly Pipes
A good quality irrigation system consists of high density flexible and normal PVC poly pipe. It is recommended to have a good quality poly pipe as the weather in UAE damages this pipe easily and you don’t want your irrigation system running and the water being wasted through cracked or damaged poly pipe as these run under the ground.
The valves are what trigger your watering channels. If you have a garden with a grass and a planting area, the whole garden will be divided into sections. Each section will be irrigated with different watering cycles. The valves ensure the pressure is sufficient and supplies the lines with water.
All irrigation systems have a timer where the times for watering cycles are programmed and it relays a message to the valves which triggers the sprinklers and drip lines. The most popular and durable timers used in the United Arab Emirates are Hunter and Orbits Timers.
Many houses in UAE do not have a separate water tank for irrigating their garden. It is advisable to always have a separate water tank for irrigation. This ensures your house water pressure does not get interrupted and your irrigation lines have sufficient water supply at the set watering times.
This practice is not allowed in UAE without proper approvals, yet we see people installing ground water pumps and using it for watering their gardens. There is salt content in this water and it would have a negative impact on your grass and plants which is irreversible.